32 - 3) Growth Ethic The American value of progress...

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3) Growth Ethic – The American value of progress (typically defined to mean either growth or new technology) has had a negative effect on contemporary U.S. life. The logic of capitalism is that each company needs to increase its profits from year to year. It is presumed that we all benefit if the gross national product increases each year. For these things to grow, there needs to be a concomitant increase in population, products (and the use of natural resources), electricity, highways, and waste. Continued growth will inevitably throw the tight ecological system out of balance, for there are limited supplies of air, water, and places to dump waste materials, and these supplies diminish as the population increases. 4) Materialism – The U.S. belief in progress is translated at the individual level into consumption of material things as evidence of one’s success. If the population is more or less stable, then growth can only be accomplished through increased consumption by individuals. The function of the advertising industry is to create a
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